(TRENTON) – Aiming to help graduating college students plan for their financial futures, the Assembly Higher Education Committee on Monday approved a bill to require institutions of higher education to provide students with information on State and federal income-contingent student loan repayment programs.
Under income-contingent repayment (ICR) plans, monthly student loan payments are adjusted based on a graduate’s income, with the goal to make it easier for borrowers to make on-time payments in the full amount.
This legislation (A-2286) would require New Jersey’s colleges and universities to inform students of their total amount of debt, estimated potential total payoff amount and estimated monthly payment amounts incurred while attending the institution that a similar borrower may incur, giving them useful insight into what they may expect their repayment process to look like. Students would receive this information during an in-person or virtual exit interview or a document sent both electronically and by regular mail.
The measure is part of a legislative package put forward by Assemblyman Bill Moen (D-Camden, Gloucester) to address student loan concerns. It is also sponsored by Assembly Democrats Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) and Britnee Timberlake (D-Essex).
The sponsors released the following joint statement:
“College graduates often enter young adulthood with crippling debt and high monthly payments that are nearly impossible to manage on an entry-level salary. Many dream of owning homes, buying cars or building a savings account, only to find their student debt hinders their ability to accomplish their goals.
“Income-contingent repayment plans are a worthwhile option for many graduates, especially those who pursue careers in public service at lower starting salaries. By requiring colleges to provide information to graduating students about ICRs, our goal is for more students to take advantage of this option and take control of their financial futures.”